Dont Let A Plane Ride Or An Extended Couch Potato Session Put You At Risk Heres What To Do To Keep Your Blood Flowing
Blood clots that form in the deep veins of the legs can cause leg symptoms. Worse, the clots can break loose and travel through the blood to the heart and then to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism .
More people die from PE each year in the United States than from breast cancer. What causes DVT and PE, what are the symptoms, and how can you prevent them?
Symptoms Of A Blood Clot
You may have a blood clot if you see or feel:
- New swelling in your arm or leg.
- Soreness or pain in your arm or leg.
- A warm spot on your leg.
If you think you have a blood clot, call your doctor or go to the emergency room right away!
Blood clots can be dangerous. Blood clots that form in the veins in your legs, arms, and groin can break loose and move to other parts of your body, including your lungs. A blood clot in your lungs is called a pulmonary embolism . If this happens, your life can be in danger. Go to the emergency room or call 911.
A blood clot may have gone to your lungs if you suddenly have:
- A hard time breathing.
You can help prevent blood clots if you:
- Wear loose-fitting clothes, socks, or stockings.
- Raise your legs 6 inches above your heart from time to time.
- Wear special stockings if your doctor prescribes them.
- Do exercises your doctor gives you.
- Change your position often, especially during a long trip.
- Do not stand or sit for more than 1 hour at a time.
- Try not to bump or hurt your legs and try not to cross them.
- Do not use pillows under your knees.
- Raise the bottom of your bed 4 to 6 inches with blocks or books.
- Take all medicines the doctor prescribes you.
What Is The Danger Of Dvt
Even though DVT itself is not life-threatening, the blood clots have the potential to break free and travel through your bloodstream. A pulmonary embolism happens when the traveling blood clots become lodged in the blood vessels of your lung. Since this can be a life-threatening condition, you need a quick diagnosis and treatment.
As many as half of those who get a DVT in their legs develop symptoms of intermittent leg pain and swelling that may last months to years. These symptoms are called post-thrombotic syndrome and can happen because of damage to the valves and inner lining of your veins leading to blood pooling more than it should. This increases the pressure inside your veins and causes pain and swelling.
Characteristics of this condition include:
- Pooling of blood.
- Increased pressure within your veins.
- Increased pigmentation or discoloration of your skin.
- Leg ulcers known as venous stasis ulcers.
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Blood Clot In Leg: Causes Symptoms And Treatment
What is the Blood Clot in Leg?
A blood clot in the leg is the clump of blood that has transformed from the liquid form to some semisolid or gel-like state. Generally, blood clotting happens to be a vital process that can prevent you from losing excess blood in certain instances including cuts or major injuries.
When the blood clot happens inside the veins, it usually will not dissolve on its own. This could be immensely dangerous and can be sometimes life-threatening. The blood clot in the legs which turn out to be immobile will not harm you. However, there are chances that it might move across the body and could become dangerous over the course of time. If the blood clot in your leg or any other part of the body breaks free and travels through the veins to the lungs and heart, it could get stuck there and prevent proper blood flow. This turns out to be the case of a medical emergency.
If you think that you have a major blood clot problem, then you must reach out for medical help as soon as possible.
There could be different types of blood clots by the location. The overall circulatory system of the body consists of blood vessels referred to as the arteries & veins responsible for transporting blood across the entire body. The blood clots can form in the arteries and veins. Some of the different types of blood clots by the location in the body include:
How Does Blood Clot in Legs Occur?
What are the Symptoms of Blood Clot in Legs? How is it Diagnosed?
What Does A Blood Clot In The Leg Feel And Look Like
A blood clot deep in the veins of your lower leg can feel like your calf is swollen and aches a lot. Some people describe the pain from a leg clot as feeling like a pulled muscle. Depending on where the blood clot is in your calf, you could feel aches and pain in the back of your leg or have sharp pain in your inner thigh.
Another way to tell if you have a blood clot in your leg is if the leg feels warm and itchy. Although you cant see what the blood clot looks like, your lower leg may appear red or have a bluish tinge and look slightly swollen. Usually the symptoms of a blood clot in the leg affect only one leg.
You may feel a blood clot moving in your leg if you start to get sudden chest pains and shortness of breath. You may feel the blood clot pain is constant, and if you have any of these serious DVT symptoms, you must call a doctor immediately.
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What Is Deep Vein Thrombosis
Deep vein thrombosis occurs when a thrombus develops in veins deep in your body because your veins are injured or the blood flowing through them is too sluggish. The blood clots may partially or completely block blood flow through your vein. Most DVTs happen in your lower leg, thigh or pelvis, but they also can occur in other parts of your body including your arm, brain, intestines, liver or kidney.
Symptoms Associated With Deep Vein Thrombosis
DVTs can be difficult for slip and fall victims to catch early, as they may cause no noticeable symptoms or be mistaken for less serious conditions, such as shin splints, a Charley horse, or twisted ankle. Regardless, slip and fall victims should keep an eye out for symptoms such as:
- Swelling of an injured arm or leg
- Feelings of warmth
- Prominent, visible veins
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Medical And Genetic Conditions
Your risk of getting DVT is increased if you have a condition that causes your blood to clot more easily than normal. These conditions include:
- cancer cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy can increase this risk further
- inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis
- thrombophilia a genetic condition where your blood has an increased tendency to clot
- antiphospholipid syndrome an immune system disorder that causes an increased risk of blood clots
Common Symptoms Of Blood Clots
The most common symptom of a blood clot is leg pain that can’t be explained by something else, such as a bruise or recent injury. The pain will be concentrated in one area, not shooting from one spot to another. If pain lasts for more than a few days or is intense, it’s time to be checked out by a doctor. Sometimes the pain accompanies other symptoms, including:
- Swelling of the feet or ankles
- Discoloration of the legs or feet
- Tingling or numbness in the feet
- Warmth at the site of the pain
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What Causes Deep Vein Thrombosis
- Trauma The veins inner lining becomes damaged due to injuries cause by a variety of factors including surgery, serious injuries, inflammation, and immune responses
- Lack of blood movement Sluggish/slow blood flow due to lack of motion can occur after surgery, if you are ill and in bed for long periods of time, or while traveling.
- Genetics or hypercoagulable state Your blood is thicker or more likely to clot than normal. Inherited conditions, hormone therapy, ceratin cancer drugs and birth control pills increase clotting risk.
Complications Of A Blood Clot
A blood clot can form in any blood vessel in your body. It can end up in the lungs, heart, brain, or other areas if it breaks away and travels through the blood. These migrations can lead to serious complications as the clot disrupts the flow of blood to important organs. This can result in heart attack and stroke. Other potential complications include:
Pulmonary embolism: A blood clot that lodges in a pulmonary artery within one of the lungs is a pulmonary embolism. This can result in low oxygen levels in the blood and damage to the lungs, heart, and other organs.
Kidney failure: Blood clots in the kidneys can cause damage and ultimately, kidney failure. Fluids and waste can build up causing a number of other complications including high blood pressure.
Deep vein thrombosis : DVT occurs when a clot forms in a deep vein in an arm or leg. These can cause symptoms at the site, but can also lead to more serious complications if clots break away and travel to the lungs
Pregnancy complications: Blood clots that form in pregnancy usually occur in the veins of the pelvis or lower extremities. This creates a risk for pulmonary emboli and associated complications as well as secondary premature labor, miscarriage, and maternal death.
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When Should You See A Doctor
If you are experiencing pain in your muscles, it is important to see a doctor to rule out the possibility of a blood clot. While muscle pain is usually not serious, a blood clot can be very dangerous. If you are unsure whether your pain is coming from a muscle or a blood clot, it is best to err on the side of caution and see a doctor.
Know What To Look For And Avoid Serious Complications
The first sign of a blood clot is mild pain. As the pain intensifies, the skin near the blood clot may become red and very warm to the touch. Since blood clots restrict blood flow, the pain often limits a persons ability to move.
Most blood clots occur in the veins in the legs, but they can develop in arteries and other parts of the body, too.
Blood clots are serious.
If the blood clot breaks loose and travels through the veins or arteries to the heart, lungs, or brain, it could cause a heart attack, pulmonary embolism, stroke, or even death.
How do blood clots form?
In healthy people, blood clots form naturally after an injury or surgery. The platelets and plasma in the blood combine to start the clotting process. The first job of these cells is to build a dam to stop the blood, which prevents people from bleeding to death after a minor cut or scratch. The second job of this group of cells is to create a scab to protect the skin from infection while the body heals.
This is the bodys normal response to injury. As the tissues heal, the scab dissolves and is absorbed back into the body.
But blood clots that develop in the veins and arteries can be dangerous.
When circulation inside the blood vessels slows because of injury or other constricting conditions, the blood thickens. Platelets and plasma bond blood cells together and create the clot.
Blood clots that form for no apparent reason are the most dangerous.
Are you at risk for a DVT blood clot?
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Injury Treatment At South Island Orthopedics
If youre injured, whether on the sports field or just in the course of regular activity, make an appointment to see an orthopedic specialist at South island Orthopedics. Prompt care can help accelerate healing and reduce the risk of a life-threatening emergency. Request an appointment by , or call one of our three convenient locations in Woodbury, Cedarhurst, or Rockville Centre to schedule a visit. South Island Orthopedics also offers walk-in appointments to our Urgent Care locations if you are experiencing early-stage blood clot symptoms.
Minor Leg Injuries Associated With Risk Of Blood Clots
- JAMA and Archives Journals
- Muscle ruptures, ankle sprains and other common minor leg injuries appear to be associated with a higher risk for blood clots in the legs or lungs, according to a new article. Previous studies have shown that major injuries increase the risk for venous thrombosis.
Muscle ruptures, ankle sprains and other common minor leg injuries appear to be associated with a higher risk for blood clots in the legs or lungs, according to a new article.
Previous studies have shown that major injuries increase the risk for venous thrombosis, according to background information in the article. This disorder includes deep vein thrombosis, or blood clots in the leg, and pulmonary embolism, or a blood clot that has traveled to the lungs,. “However, apart from the injury itself, other risk factors for venous thrombosis will be present because of the major injury, such as surgery, a plaster cast, hospitalization and extended bed rest,” the authors write. “The risk of so-called minor injuries that do not lead to these additional factors is unknown.”
There are several reasons such injuries may increase the risk of blood clots, the authors note. Even injuries that do not require an individual to be completely immobilized may cause them to be less active, potentially leading to blood clots. In addition, damage to the blood vessel wall from an injury also could increase clotting risk in the affected area.
Journal reference: Arch Intern Med. 2008 168:21-26.
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Inferior Vena Cava Filters
Inferior vena cava filters are small mesh devices that a surgeon can put in the inferior vena cava , usually under local anesthetic.
The IVC filter traps fragments of the blood clot and prevents them from reaching the heart and lungs.
An IVC filter can be permanent, and doctors typically combine this treatment with anticoagulation medication therapy where possible. However, a surgeon may remove the IVC filter if the personâs risk of a blood clot declines.
How Can I Reduce My Risk
After you have a DVT, youll need to reduce your risk of future DVT/PE clots by:
- Taking your medications exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to.
- Keeping your follow-up appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. These tell your provider how well your treatment is working.
- Making lifestyle changes, such as eating healthier foods, being more active and avoiding tobacco products.
If youve never had a DVT, but have an increased risk of developing one, be sure to:
- Exercise your calf muscles if you need to sit still for a long time. Stand up and walk at least every half hour if youre on a long flight. Or get out of the car every hour if youre on a long road trip.
- Get out of bed and move around as soon as you can after youre sick or have surgery. The sooner you move around, the less chance you have of developing a DVT.
- Take medications or use compression stockings after surgery to reduce your risk of a clot.
- Follow up with your provider as directed and follow their recommendations to reduce your risk of a clot.
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Five Signs Of A Blood Clot
Blood clotting can oftentimes be detected before it causes a life threatening issue if you are aware of what types of symptoms a clot can produce. Here are five signs of a blood clot in your legs or feet:
1. Inflammation and Swelling If youre dealing with unexplained swelling in your legs, calves or feet, it could be the result of a circulation issue caused by a blood clot. Its hard for your body to absorb these clots naturally in this area of your body, so fluid buildup in the lower leg is common when a clot is forming.
2. Warmth Because of the increased fluid around the clot, the area around it may be a little warmer to the touch. If an area of your leg is swollen and warm, it could be the result of blocked blood flow caused by a clot.
3. Pain/Tenderness A clot may also make the area a little sore, tender or even painful to the touch. You may also notice this discomfort when youre moving your legs, like when youre walking.
4. Elevated Heart Rate As the blood clot forms and builds, your body will do what it can to get rid of it. Your vital organs will start to work harder, which can lead to an increased heart rate. If you have an elevated heart rate not linked to physical activity, it could be caused by a blood clot.
For more information about blood clots and how to improve circulation in your legs and feet, reach out to Dr. Silverman and the team at Silverman Ankle & Foot today at 224-8500.
Understanding Blood Clots And Dvt
Deep vein thrombosis is the most common type of venous-related blood clot, affecting nearly 200,000 Americans a year.
It is a serious condition affecting a major vein located deep inside your body. It can be found in the pelvis, arms, or legs and break off and lead to your brain, heart or lungs, causing potentially life-threatening issues. Shortness of breath or pain when breathing is the most common sign of a blood clot in the lungs, also known as a pulmonary embolism.
If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with a blood clot, it may be related to DVT.
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